As reported in Matt Gelb - The Star-Ledger article, Jerry Manuel is having concerns that his team is getting fatigued. He remains positive, but his greatest concerns of the injuries his team has suffered this season, is the effect it is having on David Wright and Carlos Beltran, the only remaining members of the Mets 'core'.
Wright, who was on a torrid 11 game hitting streak recently, has not only come back to earth, but has come crashing down from the stratosphere. Wright has been abysmal lately, striking out at an alarming rate, and once again leaving runners on base in scoring position. In yesterday's game, which we here at 24 Hours... were at, Wright struck out as the tying run in the Mets 3-1 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Beltran on the other hand has been steadily cooling off. It is believed that his decreased production might be due to a balky knee that is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.
The Mets are in a difficult part of their schedule now, in the midst of a 20 consecutive game stretch, with no days off.
Manuel, at least on the outside, says he isn't as concerned about missing Reyes and DelGado as he is with the strain their absence puts on Wright and Beltran, stating, "The thing that kind of jumps out at me, as difficult as it is without [Reyes and Delgado], it becomes even more difficult when the responsibility, more or less is placed on Carlos and David. Then you have to take in the factor of fatigue and you have to manage that. That's where it becomes trying."
Wright, forever the Sterling Enterprise corporate droid responds by saying, "I'm used to going out and playing everyday, so I'm not putting any more pressure on myself and I don't think Carlos is either. We just have to go out there and get better results. Everybody plays banged up, a little sore on a daily basis. You're not going to find too many guys who say they are 100 percent fresh every day."
Then David, explain this to me: why do you have 69 strikeouts in 63 games? Why do you only have 4 HR's? Why have you been caught stealing more times this season already than you have ever had in any complete season (8)? If it isn't fatigue, do you just plain suck now? You got in Plefrey's face the other night when he started to get lost on the mound. Has anyone gotten in your face for your lack of clutch hitting the last two seasons?
This team has done an adequate job staying with the Phils, but when you look at all the missed chances they have had, by pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, you can be quite bothered. This, along with the lack of offensive production, and the uncertainty of DelGado and Reyes, might make for a long season.
Omar really needs to start working the phones for a power bat, preferably a right handed power bat. I'm not a big fan of Adam Dunn, but he has proven he can jerk one out of Gil Hodges Memorial Park. Sheffield can't continue to play at this pace, and his production has decreased significantly. Changes are necessary, and Fernando Martinez proved he isn't yet ready for Prime Time, and Nick Evans is just filling a numbers role, because I believe he will see little action.
What will happen if Beltran's MRI comes back with bad news, and Carlos has to be DL'd? This has been a difficult season thus far, but looking at the glass half full (of carcasses on the DL?), they are still remaining competitive. They are real lucky that the Phillies are mired in a losing stretch, but the Braves aren't far behind. Hopefully they can tread water until Reyes comes back. No offense to Alex Cora, who has done a great job filling in, but he is no Jose.